While the global economy is experiencing an overall downturn, with spending down and whole countries in financial crisis, some British labels seem to be doing better than ever. We have seen somewhat of a renaissance in homegrown brands in recent years, with many British companies cashing in on their heritage to enjoy rising profits despite the recession.
A number of high profile events based out of Britain including the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Wedding and the very recent birth of a new heir to the throne, have rekindled the British public’s patriotism. Furthermore, anything British is becoming increasingly popular with the rest of the world and brands such as Burberry are experiencing a worldwide surge in sales.
Economic times are tough, but the public mistrust of cheap clothing brands that outsource labour to third world countries has reached a peak. The recent devastating collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh, causing over 1,000 deaths, has forced the British public to look more closely at where their garments come from. Many people are now willing to more for a British-made quality and ethically produced product.
One of the British companies benefitting from this renewed enthusiasm for heritage brands is the Sanders & Sanders shoe company.
The birth of a heritage British brand
Sanders & Sanders Ltd is a true homegrown success story, founded in Rushden, Northamptonshire in 1873. Brothers William and Thomas Sanders started their shoe company as a workshop with only 5 employees but as their reputation for creating quality footwear increased, they were able to move to larger premises and grow their brand.
By the start of the World War I, in 1914, the company had expanded to a factory staffed with 70 workers and machinery supplied by Goodyear. Army boots were unsurprisingly the most produced footwear during this time, with around 6,000 pairs being made every week at production peak.
Disaster stuck in 1924 when the factory burned to the ground in a fire, causing an estimated £45,000 of damage. The brothers were not to be deterred however and rebuilt the factory in modern styling with state of the art equipment.
Sanders Shoes today
Today the company is still family-owned, by the 4th generation of Sanders and produces over 2,000 pairs of shoes and boots every week. The factory is still located at the original address on Spencer road and now exports British-produced, quality footwear to over 30 countries worldwide.
Sanders specializes in men’s’ shoes and boots in English and French leather, but also produces a small women’s range with strong masculine overtones. Styles range from traditional brogues to casual shoes and boots in suede and patent leather styles suitable for black tie events.
The look is traditional, with a twist, expressed in the bold range of colours available – cherry reds and vivid greens sit alongside the more subdued tans, browns and blacks.
Since World War I, the tradition of supplying uniform footwear has continued and Sanders Uniform range is still popular with police and military forces. The company also stocks a range of riding boots and equestrian footwear produced under the Regent brand.
Sanders & Sanders footwear is stocked by many retailers of quality shoes and boots both on and offline in the UK and worldwide. The shoes can also be purchased directly from the company website.